Parents use baby gates to help protect children from falling down stairs and keep them safe from other injuries. But a recent study reveals that those baby gates are responsible for almost 2,000 trips to the emergency room every year because a young child has received a baby gate-related injury.
The study was performed by the Center for Injury Research and Policy and published in Academic Pediatrics. Researchers used data that was collected by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System between the years 1990 through 2010.
The data revealed that there were approximately 37,673 children, seven years old or younger, who were taken to the emergency room for injuries they received that were related to a baby gate. That is an average of five children per day injured, or 1,794 per year.
Over 60 percent of the children who were treated for injuries were less than two years old. The most common cause of injury for this age group was falling down stairs because the gate collapsed. The most common type of injuries received were strains, sprains or other soft tissue injuries. Traumatic brain injuries were also common in the under two year group.
For children who were between the ages of two and six years old, the most common type of injuries received were cuts from climbing on the gate or other contact with it.
The study also discovered that the rate of injuries spike dramatically within the study’s timeframe. In 1990, there were 3.9 per 100,000 children injured, but that rate had quadrupled by 2010, with 12.5 per 100,000 children injured in baby gate-related accidents.
Lead researcher, Dr. Lara McKenzie, suggested there needs to be a greater effort of educating consumers on the correct way to use these products, as well as design changes in the gates’ designs in order to reduce injuries. She also suggested making voluntary standards, which are issued by the American Society for Testing and Materials, mandatory standards.
If you or someone in your family has been injured due to a defective product, contact an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have for pain and loss.